Widower Michael Bluth has been working for his father's development company since he was a teenager manning the family's frozen banana stand, and he and his son George Michael have gone so far as to move into one of the company's model homes. So when his father George Sr. throws his retirement party on the family yacht, Michael expects that he will be announced as his father's successor. Instead, Michael gets two surprises: His mother is the new President, and his father is under investigation by the SEC. So Michael has to hold his wildly dysfunctional family together.Written by
The Season One DVD contained an "Extended Pilot" with several differences from the original aired version, including extended scenes:
Several bits of dialogue that have been cut for time from the aired version are reinstated here. For instance, while citing people who have already explored the world, Michael mentions NASA to Buster; Lindsay's conversation at her "Stop the Hunger" fundraiser and George Sr.'s speech are heard in their entirety; John Beard jokes about the boat chase being "slow as molasses" before announcing George Sr.'s arrest etc.
Instead of saying that "a trick is something a whore does for money... or candy", G.O.B. ends the line with "... or cocaine".
George Sr. is seen going through, as Michael puts it, "a little bit of a cowboy phase": he has been calling Michael "pard'ner", wears a cowboy hat on the boat, starts his speech with "it's time for me to mosey on", not to mention the banner behind him that says "Happy Trails, Pard'ner". At the end of the episode, Michael advises George Sr. to "tone down that cowboy act" now that he's in jail. Only the hat and the banner remained in the aired episode.
An extended conversation between Michael and George Michael at the beginning of the episode: Michael is confident about being promoted to a partner because George Sr. has been calling him "pard'ner", George Michael takes Michael aback by criticizing Lindsay and Tobias for never working (although he is only quoting Michael himself, and in fact Michael later tells them the exact same thing in almost exact same words) , and mentions they only come to visit once every couple of years. As they prepare to leave the model house, a couple enters to check it out, and Michael and George Michael pretend to be interested in buying it. The aired episode omits these pieces of dialogue, but instead features an additional line of narration, stating that Michael and Lindsay haven't spoken for a year.
An additional scene between George Michael and G.O.B., in which G.O.B. asks George Michael for a twenty dollar bill, gives him an incomplete game of Monopoly, chit-chats with him, and then leaves, refusing to give back the money. (The inclusion of this scene makes it humorous that George Michael is later shown packing up to leave and stacked next to him are numerous boxes of Monopoly. Clearly his uncle has cheated him out of $20 numerous times.)
The conversation between Michael and G.O.B. about G.O.B. performing a magic show on the boat is preceded by a scene where Michael makes arrangements for the party with the boat's captain. G.O.B. arrives and interrupts them, leading to an awkward pause, after which the captain leaves.
Maeby's introduction features a cutaway scene showing an example of Maeby's unique ways to rebel: as Lindsay suggests she should get a tattoo, Maeby, wearing a dress, replies that she wants to enter beauty pageants.
Before George Sr.'s speech, George Michael tells Maeby that he feels like it's important for him to work weekends, as "there aren't enough young people today with a work ethic", but can't explain what it means.
Both the scenes after Buster collapses in the meeting room and during the intervention at Lucille's are longer: it is shown that the intervention is Tobias' idea, and at first, G.O.B. tries to make it look like an actual intervention, suggesting that everyone should tell Michael what they don't like about him, before Michael interrupts him.
During the "On the next" segment, the narrator says "Many find work for the first time": in addition to G.O.B. interviewing at the Sitwell Housing Inc, Lindsay is seen being explained her new job as a saleswoman at a jewelry store, but then decides to shop instead.
Arrested Development is another take on dysfunctional family; created by Mitchell Hurwitz, with lots of twists and turns and mystery that helps kick the series into another level and stand alone. The narration by Ron Howard that guides the viewers is actually a smarter concept that it actually seems, since the makers doesn't feel the need to explain the situation and momentum through cheesy and additional dialogues; a slick move.
It is short on technical aspects like cinematography, background score and art design although the camera work is plausible and is shot beautifully with pleasing, light and breezy environment.
The writing is strong in terms of the material offered especially since it doesn't feel the urge to push boundaries just to crack a smile, and instead focuses on the irony of it and lets it flow fluently with well barred structure. The amusing concept, enfolding tricks, gripping screenplay, parallel sub-plots that are well edited which later merges in brilliantly are some of the high points of the series.
There is also a lot of going on in mere 20 minutes for the audience to let it sink in which may seem overstuffed at times but it does the work which is to keep the audience tangled into it. The characters are more mature and pragmatic than the audience usually gets in a sitcom where they might not be lovable or even likable at times, but their humane-ness keeps the viewers rooting for them.
The performance is somewhat fragile in here since the protagonist Jason Bateman is in his A game but unfortunately isn't supported to that extent by its supporting cast (Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi and David Cross).
The first act in here is somewhat of an introductory section for the character development is handled well enough if not evolved entirely (there is no need to grab the whole bite too). It is also fast paced and evenly distributive among the characters that shares their screen time and factors in with a greater impact than the protagonist.
It spends a lot of time on narrating the characteristics of the characters and setting the plot and even though there may not be a closure to attain for, it's amusing peripheral vision towards its concept is something that can be fed to the audience.
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